Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Reclaiming Pleasure: A Clinical Imperative for Sexual Healing and Passionate Living

January 12, 2022 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EST


(Sign up using link at bottom of page)

The word “survivor” has emerged strongly within our cultural lexicon due to more forward-facing, high-profile cases of sexual perpetration, thus establishing a social declaration for sexual healing and empowerment. We can no longer avoid hard truths—sexual abuse, assault, harassment and rape happen to one out of every six women and one out of every thirty-three men in the United States (rainn.org)—and the aftermath of these traumas include the burden of being believed in addition to a survivors’ often solitary journey toward mind/body health. Repairing what has been lost to sexual trauma is necessary, even vital, to the process of recovery, but it’s not enough. Surviving is the beginning though certainly not a sufficient or acceptable end.

This presentation explores what comes next in the process of a survivor’s recovery. Practitioners will learn how to help patients shift from surviving to thriving—from simply existing to fully living—by reimagining what their individual and relational evolutions entail. It draws from contemporary research in sex therapy and somatic psychology, offering theories and tools to ground survivors in concepts of safety, security, and trust, but also reaching further into the necessary terrain of vitality, freedom, healthy relationships and fulfilling sex. Through specific somatic sex therapy protocols and case studies, practitioners will learn to guide patients on a holistic journey toward the rediscovery of eroticism, both for themselves and in their intimate relationships.

Holly Richmond, Ph.D., is a Somatic Psychotherapist, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) and Certified Sex Therapist (CST). This unique combination of credentials enables her to focus on clients’ cognitive processes as well as mind-body health. She works with women, men, couples and gender-diverse individuals on relationship and sexuality issues, offering sex therapy and sexual health coaching nationally and internationally. Her treatment specialties include low libido, sexual dysfunction, compulsive sexuality (often called “addiction”), desire discrepancies in couples, recovery from sexual assault and abuse, and alternative/non-traditional sexual expression. Her newly released book Reclaiming Pleasure: A Sex-Positive Guide for Moving Past Sexual Trauma and Living a Passionate Life (New Harbinger, Oct. 2021) is an innovative look at both somatic and psychological factors in survivor’s erotic recovery.
Aviva Gitlin, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist with advanced training in psychoanalysis and couples therapy.  She works in private practice (23 years) and teaches courses on Dreams and on Sexuality at both WCSPP and Adelphi’s Psychoanalytic Postgraduate Program.  Dr. Gitlin’s rich understanding of how unconscious experience formulates our perceptions, understandings, and behavior informs the work she does.  She works with adult individuals and couples, helping people create increased empathy for their own experiences and the experiences of others.


January 12, 2022
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EST